Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pressing eye shadows: Powder binders - magnesium myristate

Sorry I didn't post this on September 17th like I planned - I was studying for a math test and simply forgot to check my posts!

Magnesium myristate at 10% in a powder is supposed to be a good binder. So I thought I'd try it!

To 1/2 tsp (2.5 cc) of eye shadow powder I added 2 scoops (0.3 cc) magnesium myristate. This works out to about 12% by volume magnesium myristate to eye shadow powder. I squished it well in the bag, then tipped it out into the container. You can see how fluffy it is!

Too fluffy, in fact. When I dropped the quarter wrapped in plastic wrap into the container it went "pooooof" and powder flew everywhere. (I guess the liquid binder in the other containers made them less likely to poooof!) So I got a spoon and pressed down a little bit to make it less pooofy. It did work well.

I dropped in the quarter and started pressing. Again, my nails were driving me nuts, so I used a spoon to press down harder. I pressed for quite some time before I thought to test it.

Now the brush test. It came away nicely on my brush - lots of good colour - but it started to powder up again.

I pressed with the brush and the entire thing poofed again and became powder. Maybe I'm not putting enough pressure to press it?

So I tried it again. Nope, didn't work. I tried to find a C clamp in the workshop, but they were all too small to fit around the container. (I have found my C clamps, so I'll try this again!)

So I put a small bottle in the container and pressed really really hard. Nope, still didn't work. What to do next?

A hammer might work. (Yes, this is the worst idea ever, so please do not try this. This is for dramatic purposes only!) So I lightly tapped on the hammer so it would put some pressure on it. The bottle didn't break - you can breathe now, the drama is over - but it didn't offer enough pressure to make the powder bind.

My verdict so far?
This is a huge pain in the bum! I'm going to try it with a C clamp!

Pressing with a clamp! (Do not try my approach at home. I know this is a bad idea, but my brain is still a little addled from the sinus infection and headaches!)

I pressed the same container of magnesium myristate with a C clamp for 10 minutes. Nope, still came away from the sides and bottom very easily. So I tried it for 30 minutes. Nope, same problem. So I'm trying it for 24 hours to see what happens.

The results? I pressed for 48 hours by accident - I became obsessed with studying math, so it was a good excuse! - and it still came away from the bottom and sides without a problem, turning into dust with a few presses from my brush. This is simply not acceptable for a pressed powder - especially one you might keep in your purse! - and I call this an epic fail!

I will be trying this with 10% by weight instead of 10% by volume in the near future as I think I may not have 10% magnesium myristate in this eye shadow. (Look for an upcoming post on my results, and an upcoming post on this topic!)

As an aside, I tried this with magnesium stearate as well. It takes a lot of pressure to make this work with a powder. It did work in the end - better than with magnesium myristate - but it is a huge pain in the bum to put that much time and energy into pressing one tiny powder.

The verdict about pressing powders in general? Personally, I'm sticking with the loose powders. I like them. If I become one of those people who wants to carry her make-up around in my purse, then perhaps I'll put more energy into it, but for now...well, I'll embrace the powder!


Anonymous said...

You need more than just MM or MS to press powders, those are good fillers for loose powders.

The #1 choice of powder for pressing is Zinc Stearate, TKB Trading sells a press base with ZS and other ingredients that work well for pressing(I use this). As well as a liquid pressing medium.

I prefer to use a mix of silcones and mineral oil as my liquid binder. The mineral oil binds the powders together and the silcones add silkiness and compactness to the pressed product.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. I don't know if you noticed, but I have a post on magnesium stearate and I write that I tried it as a pressing powder in the post. Where is the information found that it is the number one choice for pressing? I ask because I haven't come upon many blog or tutorials suggesting the use of magnesium stearate, but I have seen tons for liquid binders.

I wrote about using dimethicone as a binder, using alcohol, and using fractionated coconut oil. Using mineral oil would be like using any other oil, but it would have a longer shelf. (As an aside, the dimethicone is a good binder, but it could alter the colour of your product.)

My goal for this blog is to teach people how to make products, and advising people to buy a premade mix from a supplier defeats that purpose. I like TKB Trading and the information is good to know, but this is a make your own kind of blog.

I get that people like to press their powders, but I don't get the appeal. So much work!

Kimberley Tam said...

In the mixes that I have seen for pressing eyeshadows, there is carnauba wax coated sericite mica and zinc stearate mixed in. Perhaps it's the blend of powders that helps the eyeshadow stick together better. I see that other than just powder bases, liquid binders are also used simultaneously to help bind pigments that are hard to bind.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kimberley! Thanks for your thoughts. You might be interested in the myriad other posts I have on mineral make-up where I talk about other ingredients we could use in our products!